LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel were leading in the race to become the next mayor of Los Angeles Tuesday night, according to early returns from the City Clerk’s Office.

As of 11:30 p.m., a tally of mail-in ballots and 30 percent of precincts showed Garcetti as the front-runner of the five major mayoral candidates with 34.7 percent of the vote, while Greuel had 28.9 percent.

Councilwoman Jan Perry was holding steady in third place with 17.3 percent of the vote.

Republican candidate Kevin James had 13.5 percent of the vote, and Internet executive Emanuel Pleitez was trailing with 3.9 percent.

If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will go head-to-head in a May 21 runoff election.

Garcetti and Greuel appeared to be the ones who will be the last ones standing for that final showdown.

CBS2’s Dave Bryan reported that Garcetti’s camp was already preparing for the campaign ahead and scheduled an event for Wednesday.

Bill Carrick, a senior strategist for Garcetti’s campaign, told Bryan he expects a “very negative tone” in the runoff election.

“I think after tonight…fasten your seatbelts, there’s turbulence ahead,” he said.

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